Students Cayden Dunn and Joshua Martin, both of Bowling Green High School, each won local Optimist International Oratorical Contests earning them spots to compete at the Kentucky/West Virginia District Competition.
Dunn, the son of Corey and Meca Dunn, is a freshman at BGHS and is being sponsored for the district competition by the Owensboro Noon Optimist Club as their winning orator. He is the great-great-grandson of the late Rev. James O. McKinney who pastored the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Russellville for 43 years.
Martin, the son of Keith and Janet Martin, is a junior at BGHS and is being sponsored for the district competition by the Logan County Optimist Club.
Winners at the District level vie for scholarships up to $2,500 and the District Champion goes on to the World Championships to be held in July at St. Louis University where the champion receives a $15,000 scholarship.
Since its start in 1928, the Optimist Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program sponsored by Optimist International. The contest is designed for youth to gain experience in public speaking, perfect self-expression, gain self-assurance, improve communication skills, and provide them with the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship.
Optimist International’s mission is, “By providing hope and positive vision, Optimist bring out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves.”
The Owensboro Noon Optimist Club meets at noon on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at the Briar Patch in Owensboro. The club president is Brian Hedges.
The Logan County Optimist Club meets at 5 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of every month at The Baptist Building in Russellville. Clarence Gamble is the chapter president.
For more information, visit https://www.optimist.org/